The French president arrived in Beirut on Monday evening, this is Macron’s second visit since the deadly explosion of Beirut. He traveled to Lebanon two days after the bombing of the port of Beirut, setting a deadline for Lebanese leaders for political reform in front of protestors, and said that “I would return to Lebanon on September 1, and that if (the government and politicians) did not do something about it, I would take responsibility for political changes.”
As he said, the second trip took place on September 1, and in this trip, as in the previous one, upon arrival at Beirut Airport, he was welcomed by Lebanese President Emad Michel Aoun. At Beirut airport, he said the purpose of his visit was to review the flow of humanitarian aid to Lebanon and to attend the 100th anniversary of the founding of the current Lebanese state (in 1920), as well as to know about the political situation in Lebanon.
Relations between France and Lebanon have always been good. The relations between the two countries date back to at least the sixteenth century, when the French Empire negotiated with the Ottoman rulers to protect and secure the Christians of the region and came to a conclusion. This continued to this day, until the adoption of French guardianship in 1920-1946, when Lebanon had a network of French schools and speakers. Macron’s recent trips to Lebanon after the massive blast in the port of Beirut have hidden but grand goals, one of which is to bring Lebanon back into the arms of France and save it again from the Ottoman war after a hundred years. In recent years, Turkey has again tried to expand its influence in Lebanon, which has been very successful. The Sunni community is very close to the Ottomans, especially in view of Turkey’s progress. Turkey also wants to gain supporters among the Lebanese to compete with Iran and Saudi Arabia on regional influence.
Another goal of France to get close and help Lebanon in this situation is to return peace to the Lebanese nation and country as soon as possible in accordance with French tastes and desires. The civil war and insecurity and political divisions in Lebanon are challenges for France, which itself is grappling with great economic, political and social problems. France can not bear the influx of millions of displaced people, this does not matter that these refugees are Lebanese who seek refuge in France due to war, insecurity and economic problems, or the one and a half million displaced Syrians in Lebanese camps. For this reason, Macron has sought to hold a conference to financially support and sustain Lebanon. This is why Macron insisted on forming a new cabinet in Lebanon as soon as possible and electing a new prime minister.
The main purpose of Macron’s recent interventions in Lebanon seems to be to re-establish its historical influence and colonization over a country facing trouble and economic instability. There are hundreds of thousands of Lebanese educated in schools and institutions left over from the French colonization of the country, and this makes at least some Lebanese interested in French culture and country and consider it the kind mother. Half of the Lebanese schools still teach children in French, and a number of Lebanese students receive scholarships to French universities each year. Macron is well aware of this. On his first trip after the blast of the port of Beirut, he went among the people and hugged them and promised them for a change.
What is certain is that Macron traveled to Lebanon after the explosion of Beirut to create a show of power, popularity, and influence to divert the world’s attention from France’s internal problems and its ongoing economic and social crises. Accordingly, after Lebanese political groups quickly agreed on a prime minister (Mustafa Adib), Macron traveled again to confirm his influence and power over the country. During the visit, the French president called the next three months important for real change in Lebanon, and said that if that did not happen, punitive measures would be taken against Beirut, including sanctions against the ruling class, and that early parliamentary elections would be held in the next six to 12 months.
Lebanese analyst Samir Hassan says French President Macron has returned to Lebanon with a table full of interventions. He still feels that Lebanon is a colony, all changes must be in accordance with the law and the will of the Lebanese people, not Macron. He acknowledges Hezbollah’s popular position and power, and must Know that the united Shiite, Sunni and Christian resistance of our country does will not allow any foreigner to intervene.